When You Post Matters

If you blog or update your Facebook page, when you post that new information can help you generate more traffic, a new study reported in Entrepeneur.com found.

“Overall, Friday gets the most attention per fan; with 64 percent more ‘shares, likes and comments,’ and Saturday comes in second, with 13 percent more,” the report revealed. But “Friday is only 7 percent more effective than Monday and 3 percent more than Tuesday and Thursday.” Translation? Don’t post on Sunday if you want to get any tranaction.

The report also showed that posting in the morning brought more response than in the afternoons.

So I’ll be posting updates to my blogs in the a.m. from now on. And not on Sundays.

Until next time,

Sarah

The Fair Playing Field Act

If you’re considered an independent contractor (i.e., a freelancer or contractual worker), you might want to find out more about the Fair Playing Field Act currently being considered in Congress.

Essentially, the act would eliminate an IRS regulation loophole that lets companies label workers as independent contractors if the business has “a reasonable basis” for the classification–and reports the contracted workers’ compensation on 1099 forms.

The act also would require new federal guidelines on how to classify independent workers. You can read the entire bill online.

As an independent contractor myself, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on how this bill might effect my working relationships with client companies. Check back here for updates.

Until next time,

Sarah

Regaining Work Energy

To rejuvenate yourself for your at-home business, try these tips from Bloomberg Business Week.

Take a break from work. If you can’t spare a weekend or longer vacation from your business, try scheduling an afternoon’s worth of idle time. Do something fun with your kids or catch a matinee movie. Whatever you do, don’t think about work.

Limit your use of technology to check in on work. If you must bring your iPhone to your son’s soccer game, at least restrict the time you spend on it.

Schedule regular times throughout the week when business is the last thing on your mind. For example, when I pick up the children from the bus stop, I block out thirty minutes to spend with them, talking about their day and asking about homework, etc.

Have paper and pen–or PDA–handy for jotting down ideas. Help to keep your good ideas from getting lost by committing to paper or iPad those thoughts about your business before you forget.

Until next time,

Sarah

The Importance of Websites

For those who might think social media is better than websites, along comes an article that debunks that idea. “5 Solid Reasons Why Facebook Does Not Matter More Than Your Company Website” talks about how a website relating to your company helps your business more than a social media presence.

The writer’s main point is that Facebook and other social media enhances your online presence but shouldn’t take the place of a website. Even if your business is yourself (i.e., you’re a freelancer or contract worker for hire), having a professional website is a must.

Until next time,

Sarah

Get Your Business On the Web

It’s more important than ever to have an online presence for your at-home business. Whether it’s a dedicated website or an store in Etsy.com, having your business available on the Internet is essential given today’s tech-savvy consumer.

A recent article in the Commercial Appeal (Tenn.) found that “online sales will reach $248.7 billion in the next five years, accounting for 8 percent of total U.S. retail sales by 2014.” However, the article also pointed out that half of small businesses did not have a website or other online presence.

Using the Internet to talk about your business via a website, online store (like Etsy or eBay), or social media (Facebook) can build your brand and increase your outreach to clients both near and far. Don’t neglect this vital aspect of your at-home business.

Until next time,

Sarah

Fall in Love With Social Media

Think you don’t have time for Facebook and Twitter? You should make the time because building your brand (i.e., business) via the social web can bring huge dividends in the long run, according to a recent blog on Small Business Trends called “Why The Social Web Is Like Falling in Love.”

The author recommends viewing brand-building as a long-term relationship. Put the effort in and receive the fruits of your labor later. See the value of social media and embrace that as part of your marketing plan.

I plan on tackling how to use social media as a marketing tool in an upcoming issue of At Home News. Sign up for this free monthly e-newsletter by clicking on the newsletter tab.

Until next time,

Sarah

Starting Startups

A new study looks at how startup formations follow consistent patterns, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.

“This study reveals an important structural context in which firm formation and job creation occur that helps explain why new and young companies dominate net job creation,” said Robert Litan, Kauffman’s vice president of research and policy. “We need to understand the structural features of entrepreneurial capitalism — the why of firm formation and job creation — so we can take steps that support and encourage those features and not unknowingly undermine them.”

Of interest to at-home businesses because the easier it is for new companies to form, the better the survival rate could become. For now, “formation and survival rates for new companies end up being fairly consistent through time, boosting the number of U.S. companies each year. Those 5 years old or younger make up the largest chunk each year, adding the most net new jobs,” the newspaper reported.